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Why, oh why had I not thought of this earlier? Pickled mushrooms are one of my favorite pickles and I’ve only ever had the vinegar pickled kind. Of course mushroom ought to make a great lactoferment! These are great on their own or as a salad topping. Flavoring with thyme and marjoram just seemed right.
Ever on a mission to perfect my mad fermenting skilz, I mixed things up quite a bit this week. First, I ordered some Caldwell Starter Culture for vegetables from Cultures for Health. Why use this instead of whey? Because it contains bacteria that is found in soil not milk, which is perfect for vegetables. It contains . Yes, whey works and I’ve never had a problem with it, but that’s not the case for everyone. The thing that kept me from using it all my fermenting years was the price. I have a ready supply of whey and didn’t want to spend money on something extra. But curiosity got the best of me. I want to see the difference. In the coming weeks as I’ll use the culture more and more, I’ll let you know my opinion.
Second change? I’m going to be using a 2% salt brine solution instead of just guessing. I don’t like guessing. It usually works out but sometimes it doesn’t. I put too much salt in one of my ferments making it unpalatable. To obtain a 2% solution, mix in 19 grams sea salt per 4 cups filtered water. If I wanted to be extra cautious, I would weigh the salt but I haven’t reached that level of crazy yet. Fermenting for me needs to be easy.
I expect great things from these changes. Here is the first great thing.
- 8-16 oz mushrooms (I used crimini)
- 1/8 tsp vegetable culture
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- a few sprigs of fresh marjoram
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2% salt brine (19 gms salt per 1 quart of water)
One thing to keep in mind with mushrooms, they are filled with quite a bit of air. I found that I had to add some brine throughout the week to keep the mushroom submerged and take extra care to hold them under the water. Try placing a few cabbage leaves on top of the mushrooms and weighing it down with something. You’ll also notice this jar is only half full. It was full when I started. Next time I might try pressing more mushrooms in.